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Yemen: €95 million in EU humanitarian aid for people threatened by conflict and famine

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The European Commission is allocating €95 million in humanitarian support to address the most pressing needs of people in Yemen amid record highs of child malnutrition, an imminent threat of famine and renewed fighting.

More than 2 million children, as well as over 1 million pregnant women and mothers, are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021 while escalating hostilities are forcing thousands of families to leave their households.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, announced the new funding at the high-level pledging event for Yemen on 1 March co-hosted by the United Nations, Sweden and Switzerland.

“The EU does not forget the dire situation of people in Yemen who are once again on the brink of famine after bearing the brunt of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. New EU funding will be essential in maintaining life-saving aid for millions of people, exhausted after a disastrous year marked by fighting, COVID-19 and further economic collapse. Parties to the conflict need to facilitate the access of humanitarian organisations to those most in need and avoid further civilian suffering. Now more than ever it is crucial that International Humanitarian Law and unrestricted access to those in need are upheld,” said Commissioner Lenarčič.

In 2021, EU humanitarian aid will continue to provide food, nutrition and healthcare, financial assistance, water and sanitation, education and other lifesaving support to the conflict-displaced and those in severe need.

Since the beginning of the conflict in 2015, the European Union has allocated €981 million in various forms of financial assistance to respond to the crisis in Yemen, including €648 million in humanitarian aid.

Background

Entering the seventh year of conflict, Yemen is confronted with severe humanitarian needs on an unprecedented scale, a situation further worsened by the fragile socio-economic situation and the coronavirus pandemic.

Conflict across Yemen continues to endanger civilians, trigger displacement and damage infrastructure such as hospitals and schools. Imports of food, fuel and medicines are restricted, leading to shortages and high prices while humanitarian aid continues to face serious impediments.

The continued impact of the pandemic has stretched health services to the limit and restricted access to markets. In 2020, locusts and floods affected local food production in several areas, further exacerbating the difficult humanitarian situation and pushing the most vulnerable people into an alarming famine risk.

According to the Humanitarian Needs Overview for 2021, around 20.7 million people out of a total of 30.5 million in Yemen require of humanitarian assistance, with 12.1 million being in acute need.

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EU co-ordinating the urgent delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Moldova

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Today, a consignment of 21,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines is being delivered to Moldova from Romania to support the country’s response to the pandemic. This delivery follows Moldova’s request for vaccines through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, to which Romania has responded rapidly with this offer. 

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “I thank Romania for its generous and rapid offer to Moldova. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism continues to facilitate solidarity during the current pandemic. It is only through cooperation and mutual support, within the EU and also outside, that we can have an effective response to COVID-19. Supporting vaccination globally is essential for containing the COVID-19 pandemic: no country in the world will be safe until everyone is safe.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Moldova has already received a range of other offers coordinated through the Mechanism:

  • 1.8 million items including  surgical masks, FFP3 masks, protective suits and gloves offered by  Romania
  • 55 ventilators and 405,000 items of surgical masks, protective gloves and protective suits sent by Czechia
  • almost 57,000 items of protective face shields and disinfectant liquid made available by Poland  
  • more than 6,000 items of examination gloves, hand disinfectant and blankets offered by Austria. 

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has coordinated and co-financed the delivery of over 15 million items of assistance to 30 countries to support their COVID-19 response, be it personal protective equipment, ventilators, the reinforcement of medical staff, or, more recently, vaccines.

The first vaccine delivery under the mechanism was facilitated last week, when the Netherlands sent 38,610 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, together with other vaccination tools, such as syringes and needles, to the 3 Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint-Maarten in response to their request for support. 

In addition to the coordination of requests and offers made through the Mechanism, the EU also finances up to 75 % of the costs for transporting the assistance.

Background

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is one of the tools that has been instrumental in providing support to countries requesting assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. Through the Mechanism, the EU is helping coordinate and finance the delivery of medical  and protective equipment and material across Europe and the world, to countries that seek assistance.

In addition, the EU’s rescEU medical reserve and the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI) have provided additional key support to Member States’ health response to the pandemic. 

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EU allocates €39 million for the most vulnerable in Bangladesh and Myanmar

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The European Commission has announced today €39 million in humanitarian aid to address the needs of displaced and conflict-affected communities in Bangladesh and Myanmar, in particular in the context of the pressing Rohingya refugee crisis, which has been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The recent military overthrow of the legitimate government in Myanmar risks worsening the already dire humanitarian crisis faced by displaced and conflict-affected populations. The EU will continue to provide strong humanitarian aid support directly to the most vulnerable population. In Bangladesh, the COVID-19 crisis is aggravating the already difficult conditions experienced by almost one million Rohingya refugees in camps and for host communities. In both countries, recurrent natural hazards further increase vulnerabilities. In this challenging time, the EU is stepping up its long-standing humanitarian assistance to those most in need.”

Humanitarian partners working in Bangladesh and Myanmar will receive €24.5 million and €11.5 million respectively to respond to key humanitarian and disaster preparedness needs. An additional €3 million will address vital protection needs of stateless Rohingya in other countries of the region.

The newly announced emergency support will help EU humanitarian partners deliver food, nutrition, shelter, and essential health, water, and sanitation services to the most vulnerable and hard to reach populations while continuing to sustain education and protection.

The humanitarian assistance funded by the EU is delivered in partnership with UN agencies, international organisations and NGOs. All EU humanitarian funding is provided in line with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.

Background

For decades, Bangladesh has provided a safe haven for Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar. However, a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August 2017 caused the massive influx of an additional 740,000 Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh, creating a severe humanitarian emergency.

Bangladesh is also one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, exposed to a variety of natural hazards that include cyclones, floods and earthquakes.

Conflict in Myanmar is marred by widespread violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting in substantial humanitarian needs. More than 336,000 people in Myanmar have been internally displaced, a large majority of whom are in situations of protracted displacement in Rakhine, Kachin, Kayin and Shan states, with limited access to basic services.

An estimated 600,000 Rohingya remain in Rakhine State, of which around 126,000 are effectively confined to camps or camp-like settings that were established in 2012, and so still cannot move freely. Restricted humanitarian access to several areas hampers the ability of international aid organisations to provide crucial assistance to people in need.

Recurrent natural hazards also increase the vulnerability of people living in disaster-prone areas. In 2020, the EU provided €19 million in humanitarian aid to Myanmar.

The EU works with trusted humanitarian partners to address the protection, food, nutrition and health needs of the most vulnerable people, particularly in Rakhine, Chin, Kachin and Shan states.

Following the violence in August 2017, the EU has stepped up its humanitarian assistance in the form of food, nutritional care, healthcare, water and sanitation, coordination, and protection, including mine education.

The EU will closely monitor the humanitarian situation in Myanmar, in light of the recent developments, to step up the humanitarian response further, if needed.

In 2020, the European Union provided €39.8 million in humanitarian aid in response to the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh, as well as disaster preparedness and response in other parts of Bangladesh.

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Coronavirus: EU to support cross-border transfer of medical teams to Slovakia, delivers aid to Serbia

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Ebola: EU coordinates immediate delivery of medical protective equipment to Guinea

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Through this Mechanism, France is sending more than 500 Ebola virus protection kits containing gowns, masks and gloves for medical staff working on the front line in the fight against the virus.

The EU is coordinating the shipment of this equipment.

Coronavirus: EU sends personal protective equipment to Moldova

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Coronavirus: EU dispatches additional medical material to neighbouring countries

The European Union is sending medical supplies, such as gloves, masks and overalls to Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia following their requests for assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The EU will draw on its rescEU medical reserve based in Greece to respond to the request of Montenegro and North Macedonia.  

Commission welcomes political agreement to strengthen the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

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European Union to host Brussels V Conference on Syria

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